Ludgate House – Case Study

Ludgate House – Case Study

Multi-option security solution for a large site in an urban area

  • Project: Ludgate House
  • Sector: Property Development
  • Client: Native Land
  • Location: Southwark, London, United Kingdom
  • Challenges:
    • Long-term security requirement
    • High business rates incurred over interim planning period

Protecting a large site in an urban area requires a multi-option security solution. Best-practice model protects property and saves live-in guardians and property owners accommodation costs and rates charges


Ludgate House is a landmark 11-storey commercial building that sits by the River Thames on London’s South Bank. It was the headquarters for the global business events company UBM until 2015. Together with its neighbouring site Sampson House, it now forms part of a 1.4m sq. ft. redevelopment project by an international consortium that includes property developers Native Land.

The site has planning consent for an exciting mixed use development, including 500 homes. The London Borough of Southwark will benefit from a substantial contribution, not just towards housing within the Borough, but also from the cultural, retail and leisure amenities as well as new office space that will be linked by extensive public open spaces.


Native Land wanted to secure the building and help mitigate the £2.25 million annual business rates the property incurred, for the two years interim planning period between the consortium’s purchase of the property and the start of the main building works due 2017.

They chose VPS because of its reputation as a market leader both as an award-winning security solutions provider and for its property guardian management, supporting local authorities and property developers across the UK.


Due to the size, location and value of the premises VPS recommended a multi-option solution that comprises a blend of live-in guardians, security technologies, and a concierge. The guardians include an A&E nurse, a doctor, a West End actor, hairdressers, costume designers and photographers.

VPS also engages 24/7 licensed security concierge services, and installed SmartAlarm gold systems with over a dozen sensors to help protect the plant room equipment in the basement of the approximately building.

Facts and figures

  • The property owner now pays circa £60,000 in council tax per annum
  • Prior to the live-in guardians, the site attracted a business rate of £2.25 million annually
  • The guardians each pay £550 license fees, all inclusive
  • Market rent for a studio apartment in the same area is approximately £997 per month, before bills, or £1,176 with council tax and bills included
  • VPS contribute £10,000 a month towards utilities charges

VPS Guardians providing protection by occupation

An empty property can quickly attract the wrong attention, becoming a target for vandals, thieves and squatters. This is down to a number of factors, ranging from the perceived value of copper and other scrap metals within the property, to the appeal of somewhere warm and dry to take shelter. As well as giving you the peace of mind that your property is safe and secure, VPS Guardians can also help mitigate empty property business rates.

We carefully screen our guardians, helping to ensure the calibre of the individuals we place in your property, leaving you reassured that your property will be secure
for the entire time it’s in our care. Our service begins with a free, no-obligation site risk assessment, enabling us to identify specific risks to your property and advise you on the most suitable solutions to ensure the on-going security of your asset. In addition, all properties secured by VPS Guardians have regular monthly inspections allowing us to keep a watchful eye over your property, and alerting us to any changes that may have occurred.

The extraordinary location of these prime offices on the South Bank, and the equally extraordinary business premises rates that it attracts, made it a great choice to adapt for use by property guardians. Over 50 guardians live there, for just £550 a month with all bills included, and the Tate Modern on their doorstep, and from where many can walk to their work. VPS installed kitchens, bathrooms and living room areas, and ensured all electrical and health and safety regulations were met. We regularly inspect and maintain the site, and consequently the vast majority of our guardians have been there from day one back when the project began over a year ago.” – Devinda Jayawardene, Business Development Manager at VPS Guardians


VPS Guardians

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